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August 5, 2015

7 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Being a Mom

As I'm weeks away from delivering my little girl, I have been catching up on the letters that I like to write to my children - every so often I write letters to each one of them. I include recent happenings, new milestones they have reached, things I want to tell them, and as I consider becoming mommy to a baby girl, there are some thoughts about motherhood that I want to make sure I communicate to her...some things that I feel like she needs to hear...some honest explanations that - as her mom - I want to provide.

7 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Being a Mom

7 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Being a Mom

Sweet Daughter of Mine, 

If the Creator gifts you with children, there are a few things I want you to know...

7 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Being a Mom

...being a mom is not always easy. Committing yourself to creating and maintaining a life-giving family environment is an incredibly worthwhile investment, but it can also be difficult and demanding in ways that might take you by surprise. At times, you may feel frustrated...beyond the point of exhaustion...and as if your days hold a weird sort of monotony that might begin to take its toll you...but I promise you: All of those sleepless nights...all of those difficult moments...all of those seemingly monotonous tasks are building the kingdom in ways you can't even begin to imagine. One thousand times over, please let me assure you that every hard moment is worth it. Choose joy.

...your personality may struggle with your transition in to motherhood. As I transitioned from teacher to mom, it took me a little bit of time to gain my footing. Becoming a mama was my ultimate dream - nothing in the world has brought me more joy...and nothing else every will - but I was not prepared for the way I would respond to such an incredible life change. You see, I am a project-orientated person who loves organization...a task-oriented gal who loves to tackle a to-do list...a social woman who thrives off of interaction with others...and in motherhood, there are simply times when to-do lists go out the window, accomplishing a task is not possible, interacting with others has to be postponed. Maintaining a balance in these areas has been difficult for me. This will look different for each mother, but know that God has designed you with great purpose - and He is able to take your personality and beautifully fit it in to His plan for your family. I have loved watching Him do that for me - but I have to stay out of the way and let Him be in charge of what He wants that to look like.

...motherhood will expose your weaknesses. There are many mornings when I wake up and think to myself I simply can not do this today, and it is in those moments (If I choose to listen closely enough...) when I hear this sweet reminder: My grace is sufficient for you, and my strength is made perfect in [your] weakness. Wow! 2 Corinthians is absolutely jam-packed with reminders of where I can find strength...and the answer is definitely not within myself. If I thought I had to depend on my own own positive own determination and motivation...Well, I would be a sunk ship.

...there is no such thing as a perfect mom. As a write to you in 2015, the pressures are great. With Pinterest, well-meaning writers/bloggers, friends on social media, etc. proclaiming what motherhood should look like, it is easy to get overwhelmed. What will this type of thing look like at the time when you become a mother? I'm not sure, but please rest in the fact that if God's plan includes you becoming a mother, He will provide you with everything you need to be the mom He has designed you to be...for your little ones. must not neglect yourself. In the hectic routines of family life, it is easy to ignore your spiritual, physical, and emotional needs. As you sacrifice for those who depend on you, it is difficult to be intentional in these areas, but it is so important. Your relationship with God...Your commitment to your spouse...Your connection with your friends...the hobbies and activities that you enjoy...all of these things are a piece of who YOU are...make the extra effort to invest...even when you feel as if you have nothing left to give. 

...your choices about motherhood will be criticized. From the time you begin your journey to motherhood - whether this is through the miracle of pregnancy or the miracle of adoption - you will have critics. Your decisions on all matters - whether big or small - will be questioned. These critics may confront you face-to-face or they may subtly chat about you behind your back. Let them talk. Remember...there is only One who's opinion truly matters. When you are unsettled...or unsure...or confused...or dealing with that ever-present mommy-guilt that plagues all of us at some level, seek your Heavenly Father....the One who created you...the One who created your little one(s)...the One whose design label is on your family. You can always rest in the hand of your Father. You can always trust that as long as you are truly seeking His heart, you answer to no one else. 

...your best parenting decisions will not ensure perfect children. Just as the Creator is holding you in His hand (rejoicing over you with singing as He does), so is He doing with your children. He knows the number of their days. He knows their entire story - from begin to end. As you seek to guide your little ones - and encourage them in making good decisions, understand that this will not ensure perfect children. Your best intentions will not always guarantee the outcome you desire. I know you want the very best for your children...especially when it comes to their faith journey...their education...their relationships...but understand that no matter what you do/don't do, your kids are human - just as you are. They will make mistakes - just as you do. They will disappoint you - just as I'm sure you've let them down at times. Please know that no matter what you face in your parenting journey, He is right there with your family...walking with each one of you all of your days...and He promises to always be faithful and bring new mercies and fresh grace

Motherhood is a beautiful choice - one that was never intended to be diminished, discounted, or discarded altogether. It is a gift to be celebrated and held in the highest esteem.